BREAKING | Prizes Awarded at 2022 Sphinx Competition

Double bassist Kebra-Seyoun Charles is the first prize winner in the Senior Division of the 2021 Sphinx Competition



A graduate of the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Todd Seeber and Lawrence Wolfe, and current postgraduate student at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Joseph Conyers, Kebra-Seyoun will receive the US $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize plus a number of solo appearances with major orchestras.

Kebra-Seyoun is a former prize winner at the American Music Talent Competition, the Southern Illinois Young Artist Competition, and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and is a recipient of a prestigious Jerome L. Greene Fellowship.

The second and third prizes in this year’s Senior Division were awarded to violinist Gabriela Lara and violist Harper Randolph.




First prize in the 17 years and under Junior Division was awarded to violinist Jonathan Okseniuk. The second and third prizes were presented to cellist Brandon Leonard and violinist Ana Isabella España.

The Sphinx Organization, a US non-profit organization dedicated to the development of young American Black and Latin classical musicians, hosts a competition and conference every year to showcase young talent throughout America.

Originally slated to be held in Detroit with in-person participation, both were held virtually owing to uncertainty over the COVID-19 variant developments.

“These are the artists and leaders who are shaping the present and the future of the classical music industry,” Sphinx Organization President and Artistic Director Afa Dworkin told The Violin Channel. “What a privilege we have to support their careers and build a network so that they may innovate and collaborate.” 

The 2022 competition jury comprised Zuill Bailey, Danielle Belen, Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Patrice Jackson, Midori, Laura Snyder, and Melissa White.

Previous prize winners include VC Artists Xavier Foley, Gabriel Martins, Sterling Elliott, Santiago Cañon Valencia, Randall Goosby, and Jordan Bak.

This year’s competition was streamed HERE on The Violin Channel and is available now for full playback.